Stretch run begins for north spring teams
(Ed. Note: For the full Yarmouth-Falmouth baseball and Greely-Cape Elizabeth and NYA-Freeport boys' lacrosse game stories, please visit, theforecaster.net)
Last week, local sports teams continued to jockey for playoff position, taking part in a series of memorable contests. Here's a look at where things stand as the spring sports season nears the final turn:
Top local contenders are in the midst of a series of games that are rife with Heal Points implications and playoff positioning impact. While Yarmouth beat Falmouth in a pivotal affair Friday (please see story), those teams aren't the only ones looking postseason-worthy.
Defending Class B champion Greely took a 5-3 record into Tuesday's home game against Yarmouth (please see Web site for game story). Last Wednesday, The Rangers lost, 8-4, at home to Gray-New Gloucester. Senior Ben Russell had two hits, a run and an RBI in the defeat. Greely (ninth in the latest Western B Heals) was at Wells Wednesday, goes to Poland Friday, hosts York Saturday and welcomes Falmouth Monday.
Freeport gave undefeated Cape Elizabeth a mighty scare Monday, but couldn't push a run across before falling, 1-0, in 10 innings. The Falcons got a stellar pitching performance from junior Spencer Egan, who allowed just six hits in going the distance. Freeport did earn its second victory of the season last Wednesday, 5-4, at Poland (sophomore Josh Weirich earned the win and sophomore Jared Knighton paced the offense with three hits), then fell, 14-4 (in five innings), at home to Wells. The Falcons (2-8 and 17th in the standings) were home with Sacopee Wednesday, visit Yarmouth Friday and welcome York Monday.
In Western C, North Yarmouth Academy continues to quietly put together its best season since it moved up from Class D in 2006. Last week, the Panthers split a pair with Traip, winning, 4-1, before losing, 20-4. In the victory, senior Dean Darien threw a three-hitter and fanned 13, while junior Will Strabley had three hits, three steals and a pair of runs scored. Monday, NYA improved to 6-2-1 with a 22-6 (five inning) drubbing at Buckfield. Senior Sam Kurland and junior Alan Brown paced a 15-hit attack with three apiece. The Panthers (eighth in the Western C Heals) are at Richmond Thursday and host Waynflete for a doubleheader Saturday.
While Greely's softball team continues to pound all comers (please see story), Yarmouth is hitting its stride. The Clippers have won three of four and improved to 6-4 last week after sandwiching wins over host York (6-1) and visiting Falmouth (5-1) around a 12-2 home loss to Cape Elizabeth. Against the Wildcats, freshman McKenzie Gray earned the win with 12 Ks and junior Abbie Hutchinson rapped three hits. In the victory over the Yachtsmen, Gray was again dominant and Hutchinson doubled twice. Yarmouth (ninth in the Western B Heals as of Tuesday morning) was at Greely Tuesday and Cape Elizabeth Wednesday, welcomes Freeport Friday and plays at Poland Monday.
Falmouth is 4-6 and 13th in Western B after a three-game skid. Last week, the Yachtsmen fell, 9-6, to visiting York and 5-1 at Yarmouth. Monday, they lost, 5-2, at two-time defending Class B state champion Fryeburg. Senior Katie McCarthy had three hits in that one. Falmouth hosts Cape Elizabeth Friday and Traip Saturday, then goes to Greely Monday.
Freeport is 2-8 (and 14th in Western B) after recent losses to Poland (8-7) and Cape Elizabeth (7-0). Freshman Paige Wyman had three hits versus the Capers. The Falcons hosted Sacopee Wednesday, play at Yarmouth Friday and host York Monday.
Falmouth's boys' lacrosse team earned a huge win at perennial power Brunswick Saturday (please see story), but two-time defending Class B champion Yarmouth continues to match the Yachtsmen win for win. Last week, the Clippers rolled over visiting Waynflete, 14-2, and host Cheverus, 13-2, to improve to 7-0 for the season. Senior standout Steven Petrovek scored six times against the Flyers, while senior Evan Henry had four goals versus the Stags. Yarmouth (first in the Eastern B Heals by a healthy margin) had a showdown at NYA Tuesday, a place the Clippers haven't won since 2005. Friday, Yarmouth hosts Falmouth.
NYA is up to third in Eastern B and took a three-game winning streak into the Yarmouth game. Last week, the Panthers had no trouble with visiting Freeport in a 19-6 victory, then eked out an 8-6 decision at Scarborough. Junior Matt Kibler had five goals, sophomore Forrest Milburn added four and senior Brendan Barrett gobbled up 16 ground balls against the Falcons. The game against the Red Storm was a penalty-plagued affair (40 were called), but NYA survived thanks to three goals from senior Phil Champoux and 13 saves from senior goalie Taylor Norton. After hosting Yarmouth, the Panthers are home with Cape Elizabeth Friday and welcome Waynflete Tuesday of next week.
Greely went 1-2 last week and entered Tuesday's contest at Freeport with a 4-3 mark (good for third in the Western B Heals). The Rangers hoped to give always-tough Cape Elizabeth a scare last Tuesday, but fell behind 5-0 after one quarter, 8-0 at halftime, 13-0 after three periods and 14-0 early in the fourth before getting goals from Cooper Allen and Teddy Russell to avoid the shutout in a 14-2 setback. Greely bounced back to top Wells, 15-7, then lost, 8-5 at Edward Little. The Rangers are home with Lake Region Thursday and play host to Falmouth next Tuesday.
Freeport bounced back from its loss at NYA with a pair of wins, 13-2, over visiting Fryeburg and 12-2 at Lincoln Academy. Senior Thomas Dorsey scored three times against the Raiders. He had four goals and added five assists against the Eagles. Senior Christo Milholland finished with three goals and two assists. The Falcons (fifth in Eastern B) were home with Greely Tuesday and play at Wells Friday.
On the girls' side, while Falmouth's historic upset at Brunswick rightfully stole the headlines (please see story), NYA and Yarmouth continue to chug along and squared off Wednesday (please see Web site for game story) in a battle that likely would determine who will finish first and have homefield advantage for the playoffs.
The Panthers went into the showdown with a slim lead in the Eastern B Heals. Last week, NYA had to rally to beat host York, 13-9, in overtime, then rolled, 13-5, at Messalonskee. In the OT win, sophomore Kathryn Millett had two clutch, late goals. Against the Eagles, senior Courtney Dumont finished with three goals. NYA is home with Cape Elizabeth Saturday and goes to two-time defending Class B champion Waynflete Tuesday of next week.
The Clippers (second in Eastern B) snapped a two-game losing skid with wins last week at Freeport (13-6) and Marshwood (16-5). Against the Falcons, senior Molly Curry scored five times, while juniors Devin Simsarian and Danielle Torres both added four. Torres had five goals in the win over the Hawks. Yarmouth is home with Falmouth Saturday and hosts Waynflete Monday.
Freeport, meanwhile, entered the week winners of three of four games. Last week, the Falcons gave Yarmouth a scare before going down to defeat (despite three goals from senior Shelby Colvin). Friday, Freeport raced to an 11-0 halftime lead and easily handled visiting Lincoln Academy, 15-2, as 11 different players scored. Senior Lucy Whitacre, juniors Lauren Easler and Ally Fuehrer and freshman Jocelyn Davee had two goals apiece. Freeport (fifth in Eastern B) was at Wells Tuesday, welcomes Falmouth Thursday and plays at Greely Monday.
Speaking of the Rangers, they're still seeking their first win. Last week, Greely lost, 14-4, at Cape Elizabeth and 14-4 at home to Kennebunk. Against the Capers, junior Kelly Burrell and sophomore Audrey Parolin both scored twice and senior Hannah Dexter made a dozen saves. In the loss to the Rams, Burrell, Parolin and seniors Melanie Howland and Kylie Ross had goals and Ross finished with six ground balls. The Rangers (seventh in Western B) had the overwhelming challenge of going for their first win when they hosted longtime nemesis Waynflete Tuesday. Saturday, Greely is at Cony. Monday, the Rangers welcome Freeport.
In last weekend's outdoor track action, Falmouth boys were first and the girls second in a meet at Poland (which also included Old Orchard Beach and Waynflete).
Freeport and Yarmouth joined Fryeburg and Seacoast Christian School at Traip. The Falcons came in third in the boys' meet and fourth on the girls' side. The Clippers boys' finished fourth and their girls were fifth.
Greely hosted NYA, Cape Elizabeth and York. The Rangers were second in both genders. The Panthers had a third place finish on the girls' side and placed fourth in the boys' meet.
The final regular season meet is this weekend. The Western Maine Conference championship meet will be held May 29. State championships will be held June 5.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com